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Eagle Creek DoubleBack Carry On vs Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack

Eagle Creek tried to appeal to the masses with the DoubleBack: a rollered suitcase masquerading as a backpack. DoubleBack does a few things spot-on, but misses many important details that nimble, frequent travelers dream about for their travel bag.

Zero Organization = One Big Mess

Unzip DoubleBack’s main compartment to find two measly little compression straps.
Two little straps aren’t even enough to keep a pair of pants in order, much less an entire travel wardrobe.

An open space for your clothing, gadgets, and electronics in your travel bag is a nightmare come true. You’ll never find what you’re looking for in the inevitable jumbled mess. And your afternoon is wasted in reorganizing your bag when you were just looking for one little thing.

When you unpack the Outbreaker, your wardrobe is exactly how you left it – even if you left your packing cubes at home.

Four, small zippered pockets line the inner edges of the Outbreaker’s inner compartment. When you have a place to store the small things, like your socks, underwear, and tees, your bag won’t become a disorganized mess.

On the other side, two mesh zippered pockets line the flap. They're perfect for clothing that needs to stay put like collared shirts, slippery workout wear, jersey dresses, or dressy shirts for a night out on the town.

No Weight Distribution

The DoubleBack lacks one huge necessity that makes or breaks a travel bag: a hip belt. A travel bag can easily weigh upwards of 25 pounds. Without a weight belt on your bag, that’s 25 pounds pulling on your shoulders. A good hip belt redistributes the backpack’s heavy weight from your shoulders down to your hips, so powerful leg muscles carry the burden.

In a travel backpack, ergonomics is vital. A backpack that’s well-designed means your body thanks you, instead of cursing you. Whether you’re walking 10 minutes from the airport to catch a train downtown or three miles to your countryside hotel, holding your backpack’s weight on your hips - not just your shoulders - is a world of difference.

Halfway through a journey, when your body might start to feel the rigors of travel, a hip belt will be your saving grace. It transfers 80% of your bag’s weight to your hips. Imagine feeling 80% fewer headaches and neck tension on a trip. 

We applied those lessons in ergonomics when we made the Outbreaker travel backpack. It has a height-adjustable suspension system – the first of its kind in a travel backpack. Typically found in hiking backpacks, this system takes the discomfort out of traveling. No matter what your height, find your perfect fit by moving the Outbreaker’s shoulder straps up and down.

Let me see if the DoubleBack can do that. Quick answer: Nope.

Add in two perfectly-sized pockets on the Outbreaker’s hip belt, and you and this bag are a match made in heaven. Before going through security, slip your passport, phone, and empty your pants’ pockets into these hip belt pockets. On the other side of security, everything you need is still at your fingertips.

Eagle Creek DoubleBack’s customers have to swing their bag off, find a compartment that’s too large for their pants’ pockets necessities, empty their pockets, go through security and then dig through a dark, large compartment for their bloody passport that has wandered off to the deepest, darkest depths.

Meanwhile, you and your Outbreaker have stopped for a restroom break, grabbed a fresh cup of coffee, and are people-watching at your gate.

Traveling light and don’t need a hip belt? Just remove it from the Outbreaker. Yes, it’s that easy.

Designed for Last Century

Carrying your laptop safely through treacherous travel conditions is a requirement for 21st century travel. Eagle Creek’s DoubleBack bag doesn’t have a laptop sleeve. You’re forced to jam your laptop into the main compartment. In the security line, you’ll open up your entire bag – probably spewing socks, underwear, and electronics cords – to fish out your laptop, adding valuable minutes onto the journey.

TSA allows a traveler to leave your laptop in the bag if that bag has a separate, lie-flat laptop compartment. Eagle Creek missed that detail.

If you're traveling with an Outbreaker, leave your laptop in the fleece-lined separate laptop compartment, secured by a snap top, and breeze through security.

Flimsy Padding

Eagle Creek’s DoubleBack skimped on the padding in its shoulder straps. Consider the bruising, blistering, and aching those little shoulder straps will bloom in your shoulders - especially when you’re lugging 25-35 pounds of weight on your back.

Perhaps you’re never supposed to wear Eagle Creek’s DoubleBack? If that’s the case, resign to the inevitable of waiting for elevators and yanking DoubleBack’s rollers over many flights of stairs.

The Outbreaker has sweat-wicking Ariaprene foam padding in its thick shoulder straps. Thick straps redistribute the backpack’s weight evenly over your shoulders. It makes the Outbreaker feel like a hiking pack designed for hauling heavy loads over long distances. Because of that, your max-sized carry on will never feel as heavy as it is.

Could a 30-pound backpack feel like a pack half its weight? Speaking as a packer whose bag always feels like I packed rocks instead of clothing, let me tell you: Yes, it’s possible.

Opt for Comfort & Organization

Travel backpacks can be comfortable, ergonomically-designed, and make your journey 10x better. The Outbreaker proves it.

Check out the Outbreaker travel backpack for yourself and see how a comfortable, thoughtfully-designed bag feels.

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